Melrose Plantation - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)
- Thu - Sun 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
- (3.76 mi) Magnolia Plantation
- (8.27 mi) Starlight Plantation
- (6.24 mi) Cane River Cottage & Guesthouse
- (7.24 mi) Riverbend Bed & Breakfast
- (9.89 mi) The House in the Meadow at Fulton Farms
Melrose Plantation Information
The Melrose Plantation In Louisiana Rivals Any Attraction In The World
Kezia Kamenetz is a native to southern Louisiana and lives in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans currently. When not writing about all the amazing things to be found in her state, her central passion is dreams and the wisdom they can offer, which you can learn more about by visiting KeziaVida.com
More by this Author
If you are looking for a place that is truly like none other in the state of Louisiana, you want to explore the Melrose Plantation near Natchitoches, LA. The Melrose Plantation is definitely one of the most amazing places in Louisiana, and probably in the entire country. Let’s check it out!
10 Incredible Hidden Gems In Louisiana You’ll Want To Discover This Year
Taste The Best Biscuits And Gravy In Louisiana At This Family-Owned Bakery Cafe
The Cozy Small Town In Louisiana That Comes Alive In The Winter
Isn’t that an incredible plantation? We think it is truly special. If you’re looking to explore all of the amazing plantations Louisiana has to offer, check out our article on plantations around Louisiana.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Want more Louisiana in your inbox?
Get the latest on things to see, do, and eat around Louisiana!
Thank you! You'll receive your first newsletter soon!
An error occured.
- 7 Unique Trivia Facts About Louisiana You Might Not Have Heard Before
- A Little-Known Slice Of Louisiana History Can Be Found Along This Remote Road
- Exploring State Park In Louisiana Is The Definition Of An Underrated Adventure
- This 82-Year Old Diner Is One Of The Most Nostalgic Destinations In Louisiana
- 24 Hidden Gems Across The U.S. To Explore In 2024
- The 10 Most Popular American States To Visit In 2024, According To Our Readers
- 5 Travel Trends That Will Inspire Domestic Travel In 2024
- 7 Winter Adventures Across The U.S. That Belong On Everyone's Cold Weather Bucket List
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Historic Homes
- Home Ownership
- Renting a Home
- Homes for Sale
- Tiny Living
- Home Tech Tips
- Interior Design
- Historic Preservation
The Secret History of a Louisiana Plantation Home
It was "the oldest building of African design, built by Blacks for the use of Blacks," in the country, according to a 1974 Landmark Designation for Yucca Plantation, now known as Melrose Plantation . Recently named a National Treasure by the National Historic Trust in March, the two-story, hut-like building on the property is called the African House . It's part of an estate on the Cane River in Northwest Louisiana, a place separated from the rest of the state by many miles and unique circumstances. Settled by the Cane River Creoles, free people of color who became wealthy slaveowners and plantation owners, it also stands as a bit of an architectural mystery. The then-owner of the plantation, Louis Metoyer, commissioned its construction in the early part of the 19th century, but it was only given its current name decades later by Francois Mignon, a writer who said it obviously resembled a "Congo-type building."
The question around the structure's origins points to the cultural melting pot it arose from, a region with a blend of African, French and Spanish influences. Louis's story is a perfect example. He's the son of Frenchman Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, who initially came to settle in New Orleans but wound up living in Northwest Louisiana, and Marie Therese Coincoin, a slave and housemaid with whom he became romantically involved. Over the next few years, Claude Metoyer would purchase Coincoin's freedom, along with the freedom of the ten children they would have together. The couple split in 1786—some speculate Metoyer wanted to produce an heir legal in the eyes of the French crown. He gradually becoming a big shot and large slaveowner in Natchitoches, and she built up her own empire, eventually purchasing a plantation and buying the freedom of all her children. Descendants of Coincoin would eventually control more than 11,000 acres and hundreds of their own slaves.
"They were part of a whole Creole community, free people of color, who were slaveowners and ran plantations," says Carolyn Brackett, a Project Manager for the National Historic Trust. "It's one of the fascinating things about that place, there are so many layers of history at Melrose. It takes a long time to sort them out."
Styles of African Architecture cited in the Historic Structures Report. The top is a Yoruba structure, from Nigeria or Benin, and the bottom is an Akan structure from Ghana.
Louis's own stint as a plantation owner started when he was granted 911 acres from his mother in 1795, land that was initially acquired as part of a grant from the Spanish crown. After settling in and planting crops such as corn and cotton, Metoyer began designing and building out what would become Melrose Plantation, starting with the Yucca house, finished sometime in the first decade of the 19th century and built with traditional French techniques. The Africa House, which was likely built by a slave he purchased in 1809, came next, made of bricks hand-pressed on site. Boasting a long, sloping roof, the building has been compared to the vernacular architecture of subtropical Africa or the West Indies. Different theories have been advanced about its design and purpose (some suggested that it was a storehouse and at one point, a jail for rebellious slaves). A 2002 paper makes strong connections between the building's style that that of barns from Eastern France (it makes sense that slaves and craftsman would pick up those kind of techniques in a French-speaking territory). Others have suggested that the builder or builders incorporated building designs from their homeland. The thin record on Metoyer makes it more difficult to discover the designer's intent.
These structures, and the development of his property, served as a prelude to Metoyer's rise. By the 1830s, this free man of color, or " gens de coleur libre ," had become a wealthy planter, enough so he could afford to own a dozen slaves and become a local philanthropist (he helped his brother build a Catholic church on nearby Isle Brevelle). He would design the Big House, a grand plantation home done in French Colonial Style, in 1830, seeing construction start before he died in 1832.
"We don't have a lot of information about Metoyer," says Molly Dickerson, the site director at Melrose Plantation. "He had some other landholdings here, but there isn't a lot of documentation about his life or who he was as a person."
∙ Meet the Black Architect Who Designed Duke University 37 Years Before He Could Have Attended It [Curbed] ∙ National Historic Trust's List of 11 Most Endangered Places Focuses on American Diversity [Curbed]
Next Up In Historic Preservation
- Iconic Art Nouveau house Villa Majorelle will soon reopen for tours
- Historic Brutalist building by Marcel Breuer will be transformed into a hotel
- 25 endangered cultural sites added to 2020 World Monuments Watch list
- These 20 places rich in women’s history are competing for $2M in preservation grants
- Voices of Alabama illuminates civil rights history sites with storytelling
- The Miller House: blue-chip midcentury modernism in America’s heartland
Share this story
Visiting Melrose Plantation – Natchez National Historic Park
With only half of a day to explore Natchez, we had to work quickly to see as much as possible. Even as we toured, we could already see a return visit would be required. With that in mind, we decided to hit the biggest highlights of Mississippi’s first city. A “must-see” for this short visit was the Natchez National Historic Park . What we originally believed to be one large park is actually four separate sites. To gain a better understanding of the atmosphere of the city in the mid-1800s, we planned for one of our stops to be at Melrose Plantation.
Spotting Melrose Plantation
Our visit occurred during the height of Covid, so we weren’t sure what to expect. As we pulled off of the main road, we caught our first glimpse of Melrose Plantation through a stand of trees. Set back well off of the road, we could picture the days of horses and buggies rolling along the winding path to the house. Constructed with Greek Revival architecture, this home was built after an unusually strong tornado ravaged Natchez in 1840.
Arriving at the National Historic Landmark, we parked and made our way toward the house. As we walked through a breezeway, we spotted a park service employee. She informed us that due to Covid protocol, home tours were currently unavailable. While we were a little disappointed by this news, we were determined to still enjoy our visit. We knew a walking tour of the grounds would provide plenty of interesting views.
Sights of the South
Our stop in Natchez was a break from the road on our way to the Louisiana River Plantation Region . Wandering around Melrose Plantation was a good precursor to the sights that are commonplace in the deep south. Walking along a path, we enjoyed the shade being provided by the moss-covered oak trees. These stately giants are quite a sight to behold and a sure sign that you have made it to a more temperate climate.
Touring the Grounds
On the way to Melrose Plantation, we had made a stop at Forks of the Road Market . This nondescript site looks like any city park but has an ominous tie to the dark history of slavery. In the mid-1800s, Natchez was home to the second-largest slave market in the United States. Spotting the slave quarters on the Melrose estate, we were reminded of the advances made on the labor of the enslaved. We read that 22 enslaved people lived and worked at Melrose Plantation.
360 Degree Views
Over the years, the Melrose Plantation has changed hands a couple of times. The original owners began the construction in 1841 and saw the completion in 1849. The rise of the Civil War caused them to sell it in 1865. It would stay in that family’s possession until 1976 when it was purchased by the owners of Callon Petroleum. The mid-1980s saw the bust of the domestic oil industry, and the Callons put the estate up for sale. It would become the property of the National Park Service in 1990.
Visiting Melrose Plantation
Our tour of the grounds, at Melrose Plantation, was free to the public. When the home tours return, they usually cost around $10 per person. We would like to return to see the interior, as most of the original furnishings remain on-site. It’s good to see these structures and estates being used to educate the public about the past. While some would prefer to destroy or emit this history, we feel it is important to remember the cruelties inflicted by people in the past. Perhaps, someday humanity will eliminate this type of treatment from the face of the planet. In the meantime, they stand as reminders that all people should be treated as equals.
Haunted History at the 1886 Crescent Hotel
Why We Fell In Love With Mud Street Annex
Canopy Dwelling At Treehouse Cottages
4 thoughts on “visiting melrose plantation – natchez national historic park”.
Thank you for posting, I particularly liked the photo where you got your first glimpse of the house. I hope you get to visit the interiors one day soon particularly if it’s still contains some of the original furniture. Wendy
We hope so, as well. A peek through the windows was more teasing than pleasing. It looks like an amazing place to explore.
Thanks for your nice article and lovely photos of Melrose. Hopefully you can return when the house is open for tours! This is a fact the Park Rangers would have told you: Melrose was not a plantation— no crops were grown there. It was a suburban residence. The slave quarters were for the enslaved persons who maintained the house and grounds.
Thanks for these details about the property. It is a beautiful setting and one that we hope to see again.
Leave a Comment Cancel Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
© Copyright 2017-2023 Our Changing Lives All Rights Reserved
- Skip to primary navigation
- Skip to main content
The Heart of Louisiana
Melrose Plantation is a nearly 200 year old National Historic Landmark located on Cane River Lake in central Louisiana that was home to folk artist Clementine Hunter. Built by a wealthy Creole family in the early 19th century, the plantation became a home for a variety of artists who lived and worked there in the 20th Century.
creole history at melrose plantation
Melrose has deep roots in the Creole history along Cane River. It was founded in the late 1700’s by Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, who fell in love with one of his enslaved workers. Betty Metoyer, an 8th generation descendant, explains, “He met Marie Therese Coincoin, a former slave who was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, in 1742.” Metoyer leased her to be his maid and cook, “and they lived together for almost twenty years and they had ten chidren,” said Metoyer. When Metoyer and Coincoin ended their relationship, Marie Therese acquire 18,000 acres and her children ran the plantation.
artists welcomed to melrose plantation
John Henry, who acquired Melrose after the Civil War, started a new chapter at the Plantation. Henry’s daughter-in-law Cammie Henry wanted the plantation to serve as a home and workplace for artists. The artists-in-residence included painters, writers, photographers, a naturalist, weavers and other crafts people. “They could stay here for as long as they were still working,” explained tour guide Adam Foreman.
a folk artist is born
Clementine Hunter picked cotton on the plantation as a child and later worked as a cook. The artists living and working at the home inspired Hunter. She saw one of the artists throw away a twisted tube of paint. “Clementine picked the paint out of the garbage and painted her very first painting in green on a window shade,” explained Metoyer.
For the rest of her life, Clementine Hunter painted colorful scenes from Melrose that show life and work on the plantation.
clementine hunter and plantation featured on TV
The Melrose Plantation historic site is open to visitors and is located south of Natchitoches, LA. Address: 3533 Highway 119 Melrose, LA 71452. Phone: (318) 379-0055
More to do in Central Louisiana
Hike the Wild Azalea Trail
Setting Speed Records
Sawmill Frozen in Time
April 16, 2022 at 3:53 pm
Where can I learn of the dates and times that the plantation is open for tourists? Also what about hotels and restaurants in the area?
April 19, 2022 at 9:35 am
I have been to the arts and crafts weekend. I would like to know the dates are this year.
April 19, 2022 at 2:37 pm
The Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival will be held April 23-24, 2022. You can get more info on the Melrose Facebook page .
July 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm
I visited Melrose Plantation 6/17/2022. I was so impressed with our tour guide Nick and his knowledge. He was very good in answering our questions. I now want to go for another visit. I’m sure I missed more to be seen. Thank you.
April 17, 2022 at 5:21 pm
For information on visiting Melrose Plantation, you can get visitors information here on the Melrose Plantation website: Melrose Plantation website The city of Natchitoches, Louisiana oldest city (4 years older than New Orleans), is located 15 miles from Melrose and has numerous options for hotels/B&b’s and restaurants. You will find ideas for places to stay, restaurants, and other things to do on the Natchitoches Tourism website: https://www.natchitoches.com/
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to access savingplaces.org.
National Trust for Historic Preservation: Return to home page
Site navigation, america's 11 most endangered historic places.
This annual list raises awareness about the threats facing some of the nation's greatest treasures.
Join The National Trust
Your support is critical to ensuring our success in protecting America's places that matter for future generations.
Take Action Today
Tell lawmakers and decision makers that our nation's historic places matter.
- Preservation Leadership Forum
- National Preservation Awards
- National Trust Historic Sites
- PastForward National Preservation Conference
Explore this remarkable collection of historic sites online.
Places Near You
Discover historic places across the nation and close to home.
Preservation Magazine & More
Read stories of people saving places, as featured in our award-winning magazine and on our website.
- Distinctive Destinations
- Historic Hotels of America
- National Trust Tours
- Preservation Magazine
Saving America’s Historic Sites
Discover how these unique places connect Americans to their past—and to each other.
Telling the Full American Story
Explore the diverse pasts that weave our multicultural nation together.
Building Stronger Communities
Learn how historic preservation can unlock your community's potential.
Investing in Preservation’s Future
Take a look at all the ways we're growing the field to save places.
About Saving Places
- About the National Trust
African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
- Where Women Made History
- National Fund for Sacred Places
- Main Street America
- Historic Tax Credits
Support the National Trust Today
Make a vibrant future possible for our nation's most important places.
Leave A Legacy
Protect the past by remembering the National Trust in your will or estate plan.
Support Preservation As You Shop, Travel, and Play
Discover the easy ways you can incorporate preservation into your everyday life—and support a terrific cause as you go.
Support Us Today
- Gift Memberships
- Planned Giving
- Leadership Giving
- Monthly Giving
photo by: Library of Congress
African House at Melrose Plantation
- Constructed: 1810-1815
- Location: Melrose, Louisiana
African House is located on the grounds of Melrose Plantation about 15 miles from Natchitoches, Louisiana, and is part of the Cane River National Heritage Area. Melrose Plantation is a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the finest examples of a Creole plantation in America.
The plantation was established in 1796 by Louis Metoyer, a slave who would become a gens de coleur libre (free person of color) when his father granted his freedom in 1802.
By the 1820s, the plantation was prospering, and Metoyer had the African House constructed by his slaves. Although its original purpose is unknown, the building has seen service as a store house, residence for visiting artists, and as the home of the Clementine Hunter murals.
A 1973 report notes: “The African House is truly an enigma. No records remain which authoritatively date its construction, no records remain which identify its function. No evidence exists which explains how such a uniquely African structure came to exist in central Louisiana. But here it stands, with its bottom floor of massive slave-made bricks, its second floor of heavy, hand-hewn timbers, mortised and dovetailed together without the use of nails, and its fascinating hip roof of cypress shingles that supports a 12-foot overhang."
Clementine Hunter’s murals depict early 20th century plantation life.
The history of Melrose Plantation and the African House is the multi-faceted cultural identity of the Cane River area and the story of the many ways this unique culture has been preserved. Groups represented by African House’s history include the Cane River Creoles, African-Americans, Caucasian-Americans, women, and artists.
African House’s hip-roofed building recalls the architecture of French barns while also resembling houses built by African slaves in their native homeland. The name of African House is credited to author Francois Mignon, who lived at Melrose from 1939 to 1969. Mignon noted in a 1968 memo that the building was "so obviously a recreation of the Congo-type building."
The building is described in The African House Conservation Plan as “a peculiar hut-like two-story structure. The base is whitewashed or painted bricked and is crowned with a hand-hewn log structure and a huge shingle roof overhanging to such an extent as to shelter a large area around the building."
In addition to the building’s architectural importance, African House is the setting for a series of nine panels depicting the early 20th century landscape and scenes of daily life at Melrose Plantation by folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886-1988). Author Francios Mignon is credited with encouraging Hunter to paint and with conceiving the idea for the African House murals.
Hunter began work at Melrose Plantation as a farm-hand. She later became a maid and a cook. While housekeeping, she discovered some paint that was discarded by a visiting artist. From this beginning, Hunter began painting. She created more than 4,000 paintings over four decades, depicting scenes such as cotton picking, wash day, pecan gathering, Saturday nights, church scenes, and her favorite flowers, zinnias. In 1955, at the age of 68, Hunter completed her most famous work, the African House murals. They were painted with oil on plywood and installed on the second floor of the African House.
Hunter was the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Although she lived in poverty and sold her paintings for as little as a quarter during her lifetime, today her paintings sell to collectors for thousands of dollars. Her works have been exhibited at galleries across the country, including the American Folk Art Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Dallas Museum of Art and the Louisiana State Museum.
In February and March of 2015, a six-member National Trust HOPE Crew team led by timber framing experts rehabilitated the roof of African House using fresh-cut Louisiana cypress logs. Restoration of the building’s brick masonry was completed in 2016 and the African House murals by folk artist Clementine Hunter were returned to African House.
The National Trust also completed work to enhance visitor interpretation through the creation of new interpretive signs and a walking tour app of the grounds and outbuildings of Melrose Plantation.
- Provide assistance through a HOPE Crew project to address restoration needs of African House
- Develop and implement plans to engage audiences through new ways to tell the stories of Melrose Plantation, African House and folk artist Clementine Hunter
- Develop new promotional plans to raise the site’s profile and attract new audiences
- Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches
- Melrose Plantation
- Cane River National Heritage Area
- National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
African House is restored and new interpretive signage and a walking tour app are in place to engage visitors to Melrose Plantation.
Visit Melrose Plantation and include a tour of African House.
Support our work to save places that matter.
- February 2, 2017 Saving African House and Telling a Bigger Story
You are here
Melrose plantation, yucca plantation.
- Location: Melrose Louisiana Regional Essays: Louisiana Types: plantation houses cottages gardens (open spaces) Styles: Creole (North American culture) Materials: cypress (wood) bousillage brick (clay material) wood (plant material)
Karen Kingsley, " Melrose Plantation ", [ Melrose , Louisiana ], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/LA-01-NA26 . Last accessed: January 9, 2024.
Melrose Plantation owes its fame almost as much to the people who have been connected with it as to its architecture. The history of the plantation begins with Marie Thérèse Coincoin, an African slave owned by a French planter, Claude Metoyer, with whom she had ten children. After she was freed, Coincoin was given a plot of land on the bank of Cane River Lake, on which she began raising cotton and cattle. Over the next few years the land holdings of Marie-Thérèse and her children increased.
The oldest structure at the plantation is Yucca House, which was built between 1796 and 1810, and is believed to have been the original main house at Melrose. Constructed of hand-hewn cypress timbers and bousillage (a mixture of mud, Spanish Moss, and animal hair), the one-story house has galleries front and rear, two large rooms, and a smaller room at each end, which may have been formed by enclosing end galleries. The present gallery columns of peeled cypress logs are probably not original.
The two-story building known as the African House, built between 1800 and 1830, perhaps served as a storehouse and is said to have been used as a jail for slaves. The ground floor is of brick and the upper floor of hand-hewn, square timbers dovetailed at the corners. A huge hipped roof envelops the house and extends ten feet beyond the exterior walls on all four sides. The roof is supported solely on round struts extending out from the brick wall; these are without vertical supports, though at one time it is thought that wooden posts supported the roof at its edges. There continues to be debate on the precedents or sources for the building. It had long been held that it had African sources, an opinion initially accepted by historian John Michael Vlach. However, in his 1993 book on plantation structures, Back of the Big House (1993), Vlach stated that the house “needs to be understood as a building based on local practices rather than on exotic custom.” According to New Orleans architect and preservationist Eugene Cizek, several structures similar to it existed on plantations in the Natchitoches area. Other historians, including Jay Edwards, think that several structural features link it to buildings in eastern France.
Marie-Thérèse’s second son, Louis Metoyer, began construction of the present main house in 1832. He died that same year and the house was completed by his son, Jean Baptiste Louis Metoyer. The house is a raised French Creole design with the taller upper story serving as the principal living area. Ground-floor walls are of brick and the upper walls of bousillage . The hipped roof is covered with wooden shingles. Galleries across the front and rear have square brick piers on the lower floor and chamfered wooden columns on the upper. Stairs are set in the galleries, not inside the house, as was typical of the time. The house has two large rooms on each floor but is only one room in depth, which permits cooling breezes to pass through when the French doors are opened. A small room or cabinet is set at each corner of the rear gallery.
The house remained in the Metoyer family until 1847, after which it had a succession of owners until it was acquired by Joseph Henry, who moved his family into it in 1898. He renamed it Melrose after novelist Sir Walter Scott's burial place, Melrose Abbey. Joseph Henry died the following year and the house passed to his son and daughter-in-law, John Hampton Henry and Cammie Garrett Henry. They added the two-story hexagonal, pyramid-roofed garçonnières (quarters for young unmarried sons), one at each end of the front gallery, and a two-story kitchen wing. Cammie Henry replanted and extended the plantation gardens and, by inviting artists and writers to stay at Melrose, made it a center for arts and literature. These visitors were often accommodated in the Yucca House.
Among Cammie Henry's guests were such artists and writers as Gwen Bristow, Erskine Caldwell, Caroline Dorman, William Faulkner, Alberta Kinsey, William Spratling, John Steinbeck, and Lyle Saxon, whose novel Children of Strangers (1937) portrays the Cane River area. Francois Mignon (who claimed to be from Paris but actually was Frank Mineah from New York state) arrived for a six-week visit but remained for thirty-two years; he recorded life at Melrose in Plantation Memo (1972). The self-taught artist Clementine Hunter (1886–1988) also documented plantation life in hundreds of paintings, in her case from the viewpoint of one who had worked and lived at Melrose her entire life, first in the fields as a cotton picker, then as the plantation's cook, and finally as an artist. Murals she painted in the 1950s on the interior upper walls of the African House depict the life of the African American community in the area.
In 1971, Melrose was donated to the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, which restored the surviving eight structures and opened the complex to the public.
- Location: Melrose, Louisiana Types: plantation houses cottages gardens (open spaces) Styles: Creole (North American culture) Materials: cypress (wood) bousillage brick (clay material) wood (plant material)
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.
- Events Calendar
- Real Estate
- Maps & Directions
Fall Pilgrimage/Tour of Homes
In 1954, The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches began the Fall Pilgrimage to raise money for their preservation projects. APHN owns Melrose Plantation and the Lemee House.
The 62nd Annual Fall Tour of Homes gives you the opportunity to explore the most beautiful historic homes in Natchitoches Parish. There are three different guided tour options to choose from:
Homes to be announced
Cane River Country Tour
Single Tour – $25.00 Per Person Double Tour Package – $40.00 Per Person Triple Tour Package – $50.00 Per Person (Best Value) Children’s (Ages 6-12) Tickets – $5.00 Per Tour/Child Children Under 6 are Free
Tickets are available at each home or buy online: http://www.melroseplantation.org/fall-tour-destinations
The Tour includes plantations and historic town homes.
Pin It on Pinterest
- Events Calendar
- Real Estate
- Maps & Directions
Marie Therese Coin-Coin, an enslaved woman, and Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, her French owner had many children together after Coin-Coin was freed. On land acquired by land grants, the Yucca House and the African House was built. The Yucca House remained the large structure on the plantation until 1833 when the main house, known as Melrose, was built.
After 1884, Melrose Plantation became a hub of art and education under the ownership of John Hampton Henry and Miss Cammie Garrett Henry. Miss Cammie, as she became known, made Melrose a haven for artists and writers.
At the time there was a field hand and cook at Melrose Plantation who also became known as a renowned artist. Clementine Hunter, one of the south’s most primitive artists, began painting the people, life, and scenes of Cane River. Hunter was in her 50’s when she began painting and continued until a few months before her death in 1988. Clementine is Louisiana’s most famous folk artist, and her paintings are on display at the plantation.
The APHN hosts the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival each spring. For more information on the festival click here .
Pin It on Pinterest
- Skip to global NPS navigation
- Skip to the main content
- Skip to the footer section
Stop 1 melrose estate.
Accessible Rooms, Accessible Sites, Audio Description, Benches/Seating, Bicycle - Rack, Cellular Signal, Fire Extinguisher, First Aid Kit Available, Gifts/Souvenirs/Books, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Information - Maps Available, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Picnic Table, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Tactile Exhibit, Ticket Sales, Toilet - Flush, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Bottle-Filling Station, Water - Drinking/Potable, Wheelchair Accessible
Welcome to Melrose, a part of Natchez National Historical Park. This is the first stop on a self-guided tour that will take you around the grounds of the estate, past the mansion and outbuildings, and through the gardens. As you walk to the front of the house, you may wonder "Why is Melrose part of a National Park?" Simply, because it is one of the best-preserved estates in the Deep South from the mid-1800s. For that reason, it was named a National Historic Landmark in 1974. Melrose helps tell the American stories of an economy based on growing cotton and the world of chattel slavery.
This land was once part of a series of Indian villages. The early French settlers called this area “Natchez” after the name of the native people who lived here. As the number of settlers and their enslaved African workers grew, so did disputes with the Natchez. After a series of wars, the Natchez Indians and some Africans rose up against the French in 1729. The French drove the Natchez out of this area and sold many of them into slavery. Over the next 70 years, European countries enticed settlers into the area with offers of large land grants. One early settler, Alexander Moore, bought land on this site in 1790, not long before the region entered the United States as part of the Mississippi Territory.
The story of the Melrose estate begins many years later when John McMurran bought part of Moore’s plantation in 1841. By then the land was described as an “old waste cotton field.” McMurran crafted the estate that you see today. By 1860, Melrose was home to John McMurran, his wife Mary Louisa, and their two children. It was also home to twenty-two enslaved people of African descent who worked on the estate.
After the Civil War, the McMurrans sold Melrose to Elizabeth and George Malin Davis. They then left it to their daughter Julia and her family. Julia’s son, George Kelly, and his wife, Ethel, moved to Natchez in 1909. They made Melrose a focal point of the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage tours that started in 1932. After Ethel Kelly’s death in 1975, John and Betty Callon purchased and restored the estate. The unique importance of the Natchez story led Congress to create a new national park in 1988. Natchez National Historical Park tells the story of all the peoples of Natchez. The Melrose estate with its land, its historic buildings, and its museum collection, serves as the centerpiece of the park.
Natchez National Historical Park
You Might Also Like
- natchez national historical park
- self guided walk
Listen to this Narrative
Audio for stop 1 of the Melrose grounds tour.
Last updated: June 10, 2021
- Home / Directory / Melrose Plantation
Did you know...?
WHAT TO DO HERE
- Visit the African House Murals, located on the same grounds as the artist’s cabin.
- Tour the historic Big House, a repository of period furniture and art.
- Visit the plantation’s outbuildings, especially Yucca House.
- Picnic in the shadow of St. Augustine Church, located just across Cane River from Melrose.
- Visit the gift shop to purchase prints of Hunter’s art and acquire books related to Clementine Hunter and her life.
YOU CAN ALSO SEE THE ART HERE:
- Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
- New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
- Capitol Park Museum, Baton Rouge, LA
- Scotlandville Branch, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Baton Rouge, LA
- Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, Natchitoches, LA
- Weisman Art Museum - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
- African American Museum, Dallas, TX
- American Folk Art Museum, New York City, NY
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
- High Museum, Atlanta, GA
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC
- The American Museum, Bath, England
This category contains only the following file.
- Rapid transit in Russia
- Rail transport in Moscow
- Public transport in Moscow
- Third rail electrification in Russia
- Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development (Moscow)
- Public transport companies of Russia
- Unitary Enterprises of Russia
- Categories requiring permanent diffusion
- Uses of Wikidata Infobox
- Uses of Wikidata Infobox with maps
- Pages with maps
- Preplanned tours
- Daytrips out of Moscow
- Themed tours
- Customized tours
- St. Petersburg
The Moscow Metro Tour is included in most guided tours’ itineraries. Opened in 1935, under Stalin’s regime, the metro was not only meant to solve transport problems, but also was hailed as “a people’s palace”. Every station you will see during your Moscow metro tour looks like a palace room. There are bright paintings, mosaics, stained glass, bronze statues… Our Moscow metro tour includes the most impressive stations best architects and designers worked at - Ploshchad Revolutsii, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Kievskaya, Novoslobodskaya and some others.
What is the kremlin in russia?
The guide will not only help you navigate the metro, but will also provide you with fascinating background tales for the images you see and a history of each station.
And there some stories to be told during the Moscow metro tour! The deepest station - Park Pobedy - is 84 metres under the ground with the world longest escalator of 140 meters. Parts of the so-called Metro-2, a secret strategic system of underground tunnels, was used for its construction.
During the Second World War the metro itself became a strategic asset: it was turned into the city's biggest bomb-shelter and one of the stations even became a library. 217 children were born here in 1941-1942! The metro is the most effective means of transport in the capital.
There are almost 200 stations 196 at the moment and trains run every 90 seconds! The guide of your Moscow metro tour can explain to you how to buy tickets and find your way if you plan to get around by yourself.